Happy 14th Birthday!

Today Bizzarro Bazar turns 14!

Ah, it seems like yesterday, how time goes by, a lot of water has passed under the bridge, etc. — and okay, there sure have been many changes in these 14 years. If I’m honest, though… I opened my cell phone gallery this morning and the first photo that came to my eye was this one (NSFW), so it doesn’t seem to me that the stature of my intellectual interests has undergone much of an upheaval.

All joking aside, I am still, like you who read and support me, searching for unprecedented, liminal, wacky and wonderful territories.

However, the time also comes to draw a bit of a balance of the past year. It has been a very complicated period for me but an extremely stimulating one; if I have blogged less and somewhat thinned out my online presence, it is also because there are so many things simmering in the pot that required my attention. In particular, I will be announcing a couple of projects in the coming time: one of them has taken me across the length and breadth of the peninsula (and the journey is not over yet); the other one deviates from my usual boundaries but is a new adventure in which I hope you will want to try to follow me.

For now I cannot say more so I will just raise my glass and toast to us, seekers of enchantment, and to wonder! Keep The World Weird!

Hermit Wanted!

The strange fashion of garden hermits.

Turn on English subtitles, and if you like this video please subscribe to my channel and… spread the word!

The Monk’s Secret

Here’s a new mini-video: a seventeenth-century engraving hides a risqué secret.

[Turn on English subtitles!]

Upcoming September Events

A five-week course on the representation of death through the ages, a meeting at a curious film festival, a conference about a major archaeological find… here are September’s events!

Starting September 3, and continuing with a date every Saturday, I will teach a 5-week online course for Morbid Anatomy on the iconology of death from antiquity to social networks. It will be a richly illustrated journey spanning three thousand years, tracing the historical variations and semantic richness of allegories of death: from the depictions of the ancient world (Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Etruscans) to the medieval danse macabre, from the “Triumphs of Death” to Flemish vanitas, from dissected corpses in early modern anatomical illustrations to the morbid infatuations of nineteenth-century Romanticism, from surrealist experiments to contemporary artists who include authentic corpses in their works. Find more information and the opportunity to register on the Morbid Anatomy page; the course will be held via Zoom in English.

On Sept. 6, I will be a guest at Garofano Rosso, Italy’s “smallest and coldest” film festival to be held in Forme di Massa d’Albe (AQ). It’s been many years since this tiny hamlet in the heart of the Abruzzo Apennines served as the location for John Houston’s The Bible (1966) and Valerio Zurlini’s The Desert of the Tartars (1976); but, thanks to the good spirits of a group of passionate young folks, once a year Forme gets to “breathe cinema” again, with a surprisingly rich program of free screenings and events. When they invited me, I accepted enthusiastically, because on the one hand such an initiative cannot leave my cinephile soul cold (cinema has been my first love, and was my main job for almost twenty years), and on the other hand this is a moving example of cultural commitment and resistance.

Finally, on September 9, I will take part in a major conference, where the details of an exceptional historical find will be released. Nothing was known about the whereabouts of the remains of the Marquises Pallavicino, one of Italy’s most important feudal families, until a wooden box containing human bones and bearing the names of Gian Lodovico I, Anastasia Torelli, Rolando II and Laura Caterina Landi was discovered in 2020, walled inside the Basilica of Cortemaggiore (PC).

During the meeting (to be held at 9 p.m. at the Eleonora Duse Theater in Cortemaggiore) the results of the archaeological investigations carried out on the remains will be announced, and I will be in prestigious company: speakers include paleopathologist Dario Piombino-Mascali, bioarchaeologist Alessandra Morrone and historian Marco Pellegrini.

Bizzarro Bazar Contest 5

Here we are at the 13th birthday of Bizzarro Bazar, and the 5th Bizzarro Bazar Contest!
As in previous years, I like to celebrate this recurrence by awarding prizes for the most macabre, creepy and wacky fantasy; to participate just stick to the rules, which are always the same:

  1. Create an original contribution that makes explicit reference to Bizarro Bazar;
  2. Post your work on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #bizzarrobazarcontest – alternatively, you can send it via email;
  3. The deadline is September 15, 2022;
  4. Remember, the idea is to give free rein to your weirdest creativity in a safe space where a morbid mind is valued and cherished — you’re among friends here!

“Explicit reference” means that Bizzarro Bazar (the site, the logo, one of the books, even my goatee) must be depicted/mentioned/included within the contribution. Keep in mind that, while promoting your creations, I also want to promote this blog. Win-win.
For a better understanding you can take a look at the first, second, third and fourth edition entries.

And now to the prizes:

1st prize: T-shirt of your choice + mug of your choice from the official store + surprise gift
2nd prize: T-shirt of your choice from the official store + surprise gift
3rd prize: T-shirt of your choice from the official store

The best unclassified entries will still be published on Bizarro Bazar with links to the authors’ websites/profiles, and shared on social media.

Have fun! Keep the World Weird!

Bizzarro Bazar Contest 4

Today this blog turns 12 years old! As in previous years, I’d love to celebrate by rewarding your most macabre and eccentric fantasy: get ready for the 4th Bizzarro Bazar Contest!

The rules are the same as last time:

  1. Create an original work explicitly referring to Bizzarro Bazar;
  2. Post your work on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #bizzarrobazarcontest — alternatively, you can send it by email;
  3. Deadline is September 15, 2021;
  4. Remember that the idea is to allow free rein to your weird creativity, to celebrate and above all to have fun among friends!

By “explicitly referring” to the blog I mean that Bizzarro Bazar (the website, logo, one of my books, even my beard if it comes to that) must be depicted/mentioned/included in the entry. Keep in mind that, while promoting your creations, I also want to promote this blog. Win-win.
My advise is to skim through the beautiful contributions from the first, second and third editions of the contest.

And now let’s take a look at the prizes:

1st prize: T-shirt of your choice + Mug of your choice from the official store + surprise gift
2nd prize: T-shirt of your choice from the official store + surprise gift
3rd prize: T-shirt of your choice from the official store

The best unclassified entries will be published on Bizzarro Bazar with links to the authors websites/profiles, and shared on social networks.

Have fun! Keep the World Weird!

Dr. Incubator (S02E05)

In this episode of season 2 of Bizzarro Bazar, produced in collaboration with the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia: how the Luna Park in Coney Island saved thousands of lives; two strange objects from the cabinets of Lazzaro Spallanzani; the Doctor who shrunk corpses.

Make sure you tun on English subtitles, and enjoy!

Directed & animated by Francesco Erba.

Love Beyond Death (S02E04)

In this episode of season 2 of Bizzarro Bazar: a macabre story of obsession and death; a wonderful coral showcase that belonged to Lazzaro Spallanzani; people growing horns.

Make sure you tun on English subtitles, and enjoy!

Produced in collaboration with the Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia.
Directed & animated by Francesco Erba

Jack & Jackie, extraordinary baboons (S02E01)

Here is finally the first episode of the new season of Bizzarro Bazar, produced in collaboration with the Musei Civici di Reggio Emilia, directed and animated by Francesco Erba.

In this episode: the incredible exploits of two South African baboons; an ancient and spectacular herbarium; a bizarre legend about post-mortem photography.

Turn on English Subtitles and if you enjoy this video, spread the word!

Season Two of Bizzarro Bazar is coming!

On March 21, 2021, the Bizzarro Bazar web series will be back on my YouTube channel with 10 new episodes produced in collaboration with the prestigious Civic Museums of Reggio Emilia.
The episodes, as for the first season, will be published every other week.

By now you know what to expect: strange scientific experiments, quirky characters, human wonders, stories bordering on the impossible — in short, all the classic Bizzarro Bazar repertoire.
As usual, the direction and fantastic animations have been curated by Francesco Erba, but this time we shot the live parts in the exceptional historical collections of the Palazzo dei Musei: in each episode, in the Show & Tell section, one of the museum curators will open a display case just for us, and allow us to discover the most emblematic and curious objects and pieces.

Here is a little trailer to lighten the wait, and see you soon!